Saturday, January 21, 2017

Potato and Onion Got Married

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Its a funny story that has great spiritual meaning behind that.
One day the Potato was married with Onion. Potato was the handsome boy and onion was the beautiful girl. So after their honeymoon all the vegetables went to potato and started teasing him. They asked, 'So how was that? What did you do?'. The poor Potato was quite embarrassed. He answered, 'I really don't know. All night I was removing the veil of the bride, and in the middle of the night the bride disappeared. So after that I was all alone in my honeymoon.' Poor potato was removing the layers of the onion and this way whole onion was lost.
Spiritual practitioner is that Potato and pure consciousness or soul or God is that Onion. We all are looking the methods to meet the bride (or soul). All spiritual practices and Yogic practices are just the methods of removing the layers of the onion and then subject finds none other than himself. He finds no God outside of him. This we called Union or Oneness. Master explained it by saying, 'You are That.'

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Is Yoga A Religion

When I teach in my yoga school, many students of 200 hour yoga teacher training are confused thinking if Yoga is a religion or not. There are quite a number of people who wish to learn yogic practices but they are struggling with the dilemma if by learning they will violate their own religious faiths. Above all some people wonder that if by learning yoga they will become Hindus. So I decided to clarify this in this blog. Yoga is strictly a spiritual practice and not a religion in any manner. How come? First we need to understand that there is a big difference in religion and spirituality. In the following lines you can understand that:

Religions are fighting or better say that religious people are fighting, attacking others in the name of religion. Let me tell you those religious people have nothing to do with personal development or spiritual progress. They are simply increasing their numbers because they are scared. In all religions, you will find people who are afraid of God. Afraid of God? A spiritual man can't even understand that. Is this God of yours such a dangerous creature? If yes, then why do you have a devil? They both are created by religions for inspiring fear. 'You need to be loving the God' spirituality would claim. There is no need to fear and inspire fear in each other. If its not enough, then in religions we created the idea of heaven and hell. Heaven  a place for all pleasures and satisfying your lust. Pleasures that we can't achieve in this world are promised in heaven. Then hell for the all sort of punishments. Either follow my religion or be ready to go to the hell. Our hell, where you will be punished. Means, we are led either by greed or fear. You can impose your religious faith on others claiming that only they are right. Everything else can't be right in the first place. It can be my way or My way. Its very easy to look like a religious person but its so very difficult to be a  spiritual person.

Spirituality or spiritual values are the set of those characteristics that help the holistic development of a human being. Being spiritual means a person is developing on physical, mental, social, emotional and soul level. These values can be numerous and there is no restriction on how many a person must be taking at any given moment. Spirituality is the backbone of any and every religion. It is very much possible that a person is spiritual and doesn't follow any religion; and other way a person can be religious but devoid of any spiritual progress. You can follow any spiritual practices irrespective of your own religious faith. Spirituality doesn't have any reason to increase its number by forcing anyone. Spiritual values are never in danger and never attack anyone. They can't be imposed on others. How can you force a person follow your spiritual practices? And why would anyone do that? You can't be a fanatic if you are religious. You will never listen that someone was 'fanatic Yogi'. Idea is not say that Yoga or any other spiritual practice is better than any religion; rather idea here is that one can practice yoga as a true spiritual practice without any fear of your losing your religious faith.

Note: Religion is not a bad thing in the first place. How religion is helpful, in my views, I will discuss in the next blog.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Emotional Strength: A Story

One day on the roof of a twenty floor building, a man was about to jump. He was just gathering the courage for making a suicide. At that moment, a small girl came there and saw that this man was about to kill himself. Out of fear she shouted, 'Hey what are you doing?' The man was suddenly taken back by that childish sound and his effort to jump was halted. He thought that the people of this world are so bad that they would also not allow him to die peacefully. He shouted back at the girl, 'What are you doing here?'
The girl answered, 'Sorry Sir! I just came to see some sunshine.'
The man sais, 'Go back! There is no sunshine.'
The girl protested, 'But look! there is great sunshine all around.'
The man said with a sigh, 'You will not understand. You are too young for that.'
Girl is really young. So she asked, 'Yes sir you are right I don't understand. But, will you be so kind that you explain to me what you meant. After that you can jump, I will not stop you.'
Man thought that it was no a bad idea to have some chat with the girl. Any way she was not stopping him from the suicide. One hour before or later, it didn't matter. So he agreed. Now both were sitting on the roof top for the next one hour. The girl was telling by her limited experience how the life was beautiful and exciting; while the man told how the life was not worth living, and all happiness the girl knew was simply an illusion.
What happened after one hour?

This story can have four possible endings:
1. The man still jumped
2. He changed the mind
3. The girl changed the mind and jumped with him
4. They both simply changed their places i.e. the girl got so depressed that she jumped from the roof and man did find some hope and happiness.

Four possible endings of one small story. Depending on what? Depending on who was stronger. Not physically of course. But also not mentally. Not by logic or reason, as by reasons nothing can be explained to anyone or everything can be explained by logic. It depended on who was stronger emotionally. If girl was a true source of happiness and hope, then man's sadness and depression can't affect her. Rather she would overpower that man's negative emotions. But if the girl is only behaving happily she might be overpowered by the man's negativity.

The great masters distributed the peace and happiness in the whole world but they they themselves were not affected by the negative emotions of the whole world. This detachment is Yoga. This consistency is called Yoga

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Yoga in Context

As such there are various definitions of Yoga. But yoga can be explained in various contexts for different :
  1. If you see in the social context, yoga is a way of living i.e. a life style.  In ‘Bhagwad Geeta’ Lord Krishna told ‘Yogah Karmasu Kaushalam’ i.e. yoga is excellence in all actions. This excellence is not seeking perfection rather it is doing everything in the best possible manner. It is living in the moment with full awareness. 
  2. In emotional or personal context yoga is ‘Samatvam Yoga Uchyate’ (Bhagwad Geeta). It means Yoga is called consistency i.e. consistency in all situations. The subject who lives in all situations in the same manner is a Yogi. Not affected by people, environment or situations; he is a yogi. Somebody says that usually i speak truth, then it simply means that he doesn't speak truth. He usually speaks truth when situations are in favor. But a Yogi is a Yogi. if speaks truth then he does so, no matter what happens in the whole world or whatever others are doing. 
  3. There is also a psychological definitions of Yoga. ‘Yogah Chitta Vritti Nirodhah’ i.e. Yoga is the mental state of where patterns (fluctuations) of mind are stopped/controlled; i.e. yoga is a mental state of peace and calmness. Further all those techniques which can help this purpose are also called yogic techniques. Few of these techniques are Aasana or Pranayama or Mantra. But these Yogic techniques are not limited to them.  One can achieve this peace of mind or control of mind by simply singing or dancing, they all will be called yogic techniques. Yoga Teacher Kalpendra Chauhan says 'As such everything can become yoga'. 
  4. Spiritually Yoga is the union. Union of individual conscious with supreme consciousness. A union where boundaries of me and you become weak. This is the level where ultimate reality is understood, People say we are one or together, but really realizing this oneness or togetherness not just with each other but also with the whole universe is Yoga. 
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Friday, January 13, 2017

Am I God Already?

Saying that we are God is neither right nor wrong. A seed of a Mango tree carries all potential of being a tree. It has full genetical map of the tree and thousand leaves and fruits that may come up in future, provided if seed is sown in the land and proper care is done. So, is the seed of a mango a mango tree or not. Conditionally yes and no both. So is each individual a God? Yes and no both. Each one can become THAT, as the potential is there. But it is not necessary that it will happen. So when Buddha says that only I was there, he meant that he reached on THAT level of being an omnipresent and omnipotent GOD. He is not separate from what ever you call it / Him. 

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Yoga and After Life Theory

As such yoga is not selling any idea of 'life after death' like any other religion. Yoga doesn't promise any life in heaven or hell just because you have done something in the present life. The idea of heaven is very attractive and inspires someone to do good things, so that he can enjoy his life after death among beautiful women and all other pleasures. But isn't it that people are doing good things only for their greed of heaven and heavenly pleasures? And some religions are manipulating their followers for doing various terrible things in the greed of heaven and virgin beauties waiting their. Or are they not afraid of hell and their own devil? So where is the transformation in goodness? Where is the learning of spiritual values? Only fear or greed is what we get in this idea of life after death. But Yoga is different. When we say about reincarnation or Karma or Sanskaara, it is putting the responsibilities on the shoulders of the people. Its like saying, 'look what ever you are doing, you'll get the consequences of the same. What you are getting now is the result of your actions. So use your heads and do good things and learn good things so you always walk on to it like a habit.' Further this idea is also consoling the practitioners that their progress is not lost in next life. If you can't finish your journey, then also your progress is saved and in the next life (if there is one, and you are comfortable with this idea) you will start from the same place. What ever goodness is earned is yours. Your good habits and spiritual values are not going to leave you even after death.